“We live better than kings. Grab a crown.” Castles are majestic, they’re powerful, and they’re well-fortified against revolutionary uprisings. Nothing screams power and wealth and status like a castle with soaring turrets. But even the poorest among us live better than kings.
“We live better than kings.
Grab a crown. Most of us are far healthier, far more comfortable and have far more opportunities and diversions available to us than 99 percent of all the monarchs, emperors, maharajahs and other potentates who’ve ever lived. We live longer, eat better and travel farther than the richest and most blessed people in virtually every other generation in every land in history.”
– Eric Zorn
Stumbling upon this quote and title from a piece that Eric wrote in 2004, that thought struck me. “We live better than kings.” How true that is. And yet, I’m not sure how often we stop to think just how blessed we are. When you stop and take stock of your life for just a second, the absence of gratitude (whether to God or just in general) is pretty surprising; especially in comparison to those kings and queens of the past.
What have you got to be thankful for? Eric supplied an extensive list.
“Automobiles. Electricity. Flush toilets. Electronic-ignition gas stoves. Refrigerators. Microwave ovens. Hot-water heaters.
Central heating systems controlled by programmable thermostats. Alarm clocks that begin beeping softly and get gradually louder. Energy-saving bulb-shaped fluorescent lights that don’t burn out for years.
Cruise control. Digital photography. Answering machines. Velcro. Gore-Tex. CoolMax. No-iron dress shirts and no-stain khakis. Shoes that are broken in when you buy them. Clothes dryers that shut off using moisture sensors.
The availability of good coffee and warm, fast-food sub sandwiches. Post-it Notes. Spybot and Ad-Aware. Soap pumps. Carbon monoxide detectors.
Cordless drills, phones and weed whips. No-lick stamps. Bifocals without lines (and the snazzy term “progressive lenses” to describe them).
Affordable jet travel and cheap long-distance calling. Calculators so inexpensive you throw them away rather than replace the batteries. Lipitor. Faxes. Overnight mail.
PDAs, .pdf and PVRs. DVDs, CDs, MRIs and ATMs. DSL, GPS, Wi-Fi, MP3, USB-2 and, most astonishing of all, really, clean H2O at the turn of a tap.
Cell phones. Blogs. E-mail. Google.
Double-pane windows. Titanium golf clubs. Coaster Frisbees. Surgical lasers. Anesthesia. Penicillin. Strings of holiday lights that don’t go dark when one of the bulbs burns out.
Nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries. Electronic guitar tuners. Laminators. Label makers. Big-box bookstores. Cordless phones with “locator” buttons to find the lost handsets.
Modern playground equipment. Run-flat tires. Air conditioning. Keyless entry. Pay at the pump. Comb binding. Walkman stereos with ear-bud headphones and speed-control playback. Nyquil. Taquitos. TV.
Flat-panel monitors. In-line skates. Tevas. Direct deposit. Automatic bill pay. Audio books. Public libraries. Air bags. Super SloMo. Instant replay. Mulching mowers. And, especially, finally, suitcases on wheels.
At worst, you live in miraculous times.”
At worst, we live in miraculous times. We do indeed. And yet so often we never pause in gratitude. Some things never change.
“On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voice, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us.’
When he saw them he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’
And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.
Then Jesus answered, ‘Were not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.’”
– Luke 17:11-19
***The castle in the image is Neuschwanstein Castle. It is one of the most picturesque castles in the world, nestled in the mountains of Germany. It was even the inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland.